Compassion of Jesus & Miracles

Jesus Christ was moved with compassion. We know this is true because it was said of Him in the gospel at least a dozen times. The operation of the Spirit was deeply connected to the emotions of the Savior. There is a profound interworking of compassion with the power of the Spirit.

In the understanding of the people at the time of Christ, compassion meant to be physically moved by someone’s else misfornature. When Jesus was moved with compassion, he literally was changed in the body by what he saw. We call this, “being sick to the stomach.”

This seems to be true in almost every case of a miracle in the gospels. Jesus was physically affected by the needs of the people. It was just some theological truth but has practical application. It is tempting to just think about things in a philosophical way. Jesus moved from doctrine into the practical.

The desire of the Lord has not changed. He still moves with the compassion that moves Him for the hurting of society. The hands and feet of Christ that He uses today is you and me. It is critical for us to understand that what we do is an overflow of what Jesus did while on the earth.

Compassion of Jesus with woman of blood

There is a story in Matthew 9 of a woman with a blood issue that broke all types of Jewish protocols because she was desperate for a miracle.

  • Women did not speak with men.
  • Menstruation made women unclean.
  • Unclean people must keep their distance.

Under Pharisaical law, anything a woman with menorrhagia touched would become unclean, especially cloaks. Yet, she touch the hem of the cloak of the Lord and there is no evidence that He considered the cloak to become unclean.

Jesus did not concern himself with the legal requirements of having an unclean cloak at that time, His focus was on the compassion for the woman who had been pushed away by society.

Jesus saw her passionate cry or the fervent entreaty of the woman and that moved him physically much more than cultural and religious expectations.

Where her act was a desperate for a miracle in her body, it was much than that: it was a cry to remove the social consequences of her disorder in the culture she was born and raised within.

There is no question that the ostracized pariah was in a place of shame and hopelessness. In the culture, she was treated as the worst of society. She could not get married or have a relationship because what was happening. She could no go many places. She could do much of anything. She was humiliated.

Yet, the Lord received her despite all the cultural issues and he called her “daughter” as a sign of acceptance. He went on to tell her that her faith (or desperation) had made her whole.

Compassion met faith and the Spirit moved among them to heal a woman physically and socially.

 

How to help someone with PTSD

The greatest need for someone with Post traumatic Stress Disorder is not someone to tell them the answers or even point them to a professional (that often does more damage than good.) The answer is compassion. It is hard for many to do it but it makes all the difference. All most people with PTSD need is compassion and concern.

People are often telling people with trauma to get over it. If they do not, they are saying they need to go see a therapist so they can be “normal.” There can be often suggestions like pastoral care. The problem is none of these will work. They are just understood by the person with the trauma as they are broken and not worth your concern. They are being pushed away until they walk away.

As a ministry that focuses on reaching people with PTSD, the answer is not the government (who admits they have no answers) nor is it the mental health industry (that also admits they have no answers). The only hope for the people with trauma is the gospel of Jesus and the compassion of the believer.

What does the scripture tell us about compassion for people suffering?

Word used Original WordMeaning
Merciful eleémón (2)merciful, acting consistently with the revelation of God's covenant.
Mercyeleos (27) properly, "mercy" as it is defined by loyalty to God's covenant.
Compassionsplagchnizomai (12)to be moved in the inward parts, to feel compassion
Mercyeleeó (32)to show mercy as God defines it, i.e. as it accords with His truth (covenant).
Mercy hilaskomai (2)to extend propitiation, showing mercy by satisfying
Compassionoiktirmos (5)deep feeling about someone's difficulty or misfortune
comfortparamuthion (1)consolation (comfort) produced by using soothing words 
gentlymetriopatheó (1)to feel appropriately, i.e. with divinely-measured intensity
sufferingsumpatheó (2)to have a fellow feeling with, i.e. sympathize with
Compassion polusplagchnos (1) "many-boweled," referring to full affection
Sympatheticsumpathés (1)suffering or feeling the like with another, sympathetic
no pitysplagchnon (11)gut-level compassion (visceral feelings); the capacity to feel deep emotions.

Compassion and New Testament

As you can see, the New Testament has much to say about the issue. There is at least 87 references to the need for compassion or mercy on someone hurting. Having compassion on someone is related to understand God’s covenant, walking in truth, and having godly passion in the Kingdom. The totality of the New Testament paints a picture that how you teach the broken is a mirror of how you see your relationship with the Father.

It is understandably hard to walk someone in a relapse with PTSD and just have compassion on them. It can hurt to know there is little you can do, outside of loving them, but is that the bedrock for healing when things normalize again.

When I had my nasty relapse in 2016-2018, I had a lot of people trying to be Dr. Phil to me and it was offensive and shown me they were more interested in the issues going away under the rug than they were in my overall health and ending the cycle.

I sit at doctor offices because they is what people told me that I needed to do. It only got worse. The problem was they want to give answers, not compassion and not be sympathetic. It was actually very problematic and only made things worse for me.

The only answer was the gospel of Jesus. People are not called to be the answer but just walk in and be deeply moved by compassion. Anything past that is outside the biblical norm of being a comfort to others.

The man or woman that is hurting need to know they are cared for and there is hope for tomorrow. When we fail at this level,  nothing else really matters and the sin issue is on the person that does not have the trauma.

Why Compassion is hard for many?

The truth is that people who do not understand the challenge of a PTSD cycle do not have the capacity to feel deep emotions for the person. They have not been there.

It is like what Peter and John dealt with in Acts 3. They could only give what they had received themselves. If you have never had to walk through a trail or grief, it is very complex to have empathy on someone else that does need it.

Someone born rich does not know what it means to be poor. It is hard for them to relate to people who live from welfare check to check. Why? They never had to do it. However, someone like Manny Pacquiao that was once a street kid in Mindanao (Philippines) remembers where he came from. He has a grid for the suffering.

I have a friend who works with the homeless population but he came from a middle class family and worked as an engineer because the Lord called him to work with the people he serves now. He has told me that he wonders how he could understand them better given that he has never been homeless or understand the plight of homelessness. He openly said there is a limit to the compassion simply because he does not have the experience.

It takes more purposefully work to operate in mercy when you do not have the understanding personally. It is not impossible, though. My friend is proof of that.

PTSD & a false prophet

Many church just give up on people with PTSD and label them as false believers, false prophets and in some case, the spirit of Jezebel. This is wrong on many levels socially, spiritually, and biblically. There seemly is not a time claiming someone with PTSD is a false prophet is acceptable.

I understand that some pastors do not want to “deal” with people that have been through trauma and does not heal in the time frame the leader thinks they should. Some ministry models think that if someone is not healed from trauma by the week after, they just don’t want to be healed. This is wrong on many levels.

I want to be clear: putting a timeline of someone’s healing, especially from trauma is downright demonic. We do not do that for someone who has cancer or heart disease but we do it for people that have a life changing encounter that we will never understand. It is a double standard.

Part of this is because many pastors do not want to be informed about what is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and it is not. There is no shame in what you do not know but there is a frustration when they simply choose to know learn and understand.

What is a false prophet?

Many people do not understand the scriptures has to say about false prophets. You can be a false prophets and never give a prophetic word. You can also see prophecies actually happen and still be a false prophet. That’s not the test.

2 Peter 2 is normally taken way out of context to harm people who are struggling. A quick look at the culturally understanding and the historical environment that the writer of 2 Peter (There is questions if Peter actually wrote it)  is written changing its “meaning” from what most tell us today.

It was being addressed about people who literally change the gospel.  They secretly changed what the work of the cross did for the person coming to the saving knowledge of Jesus. Paul also warned against them in Acts 20.

The next issue you have is intent. A false prophet is knowingly choosing to walk in deception and does it with a clear motive for personal gain. This is not a struggle but a desire to deceive. It was not a trauma response. As you can see this, these are two very different matters.

The third issue with the false prophets was they were leading people away from the Lord Jesus and to people claiming they were the Lord. They were denying that Jesus had assented into Heaven and by default, He was not returning for them like the apostles taught.

In other words, if a person is not changing the gospel, having deceptive motives for personal gains, and pointing people away from Jesus; they can’t be false prophets.

The same application would be true of people that get carried away with the spirit of Jezebel. It is about motives more than behavior. Why you do what you do is more important than what you do in most cases.

Now, let’s talk PTSD

It is something physical that has emotional effects on people. Basically, your brain has a section known as hippocampus for your memory. There is another part known as amygdala that deals with your emotions. When someone has been traumatized, the hippocampus closes down in many ways and this causes the amygdala to overreact. The hyper active emotional system leads to trauma response and that leads to some poor decisions.

The poor decisions does not make someone a false prophet or false believer. It means they have something much deeper going on that drives those choices that must be addressed and done with compassion.

When churches do not separate trauma from behavior; it is doing a serious disservice to the people struggling and everyone involved. This is a problem much wider than any one movement. The lack of comfort that people with PTSD find under the steeple of churches in America is sickening in my opinion.

As you can see, the claim of being a false prophet because of their behavior does not hold any weight. They are trying to change the gospel, they are not doing things with the wrong motives and they are not pointing people from Jesus.

Biblically, this is the problem of the churches more that the person with PTSD. They have stepped into being the accuser of the brethren and the scriptures attached that to the devil himself. It is not even a demon but Satan manifesting. Churches that accusing broken people of being false believers and false prophets are the one in need of repenting.

Compassion for people with PTSD

One of the most important scriptures to addressing PTSD is the open of 2 Corinthians. We have three very important truths: God is the Father of Compassion, He has comforted us and we are to comfort others.

The Father of Jesus, our Heavenly Father, seems Himself as the Father of Compassion. The Greek teaches us that God is the giver of life and is committed to us as His children. It goes on to talk about compassion as God “has deep feelings about our difficulties.” When we pray to the Father, we are talking to the giver of life that is deeply committed to His feelings in our difficulties.

What does it mean to be comforted by the Father? There is many levels of it but one of them is joy in the Spirit. There is a degree of joy from the consolation we have received at salvation and realized in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. After a loss; there is peace, righteous and joy in the Holy Spirit.

However, that consolation is not just for us but through us. Those who have walked through it has a duty to those who have not been able to crawl to guide them to the same joy that we have received. If we do not do this, we have failed those who have been traumatized and can’t walk the road by themselves.

Everyone needs compassion. Love that is never failing. Let mercy fall on me. Everyone needs forgiveness. The kindness of a Savior. (Reuben Morgan)

Do you know Jesus?

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